Last week the world was gifted two highly-anticipated trailers. The first, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, fought off more than it’s bloated title in proving to fans that Ben Affleck’s take on the Dark Knight might be worth the price of admission. Running in at around 3 and a half minutes, the trailer revisits the climactic moments of director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, where we see the Batt-fleck experience the Kyroptonians’ destruction of Metropolis.
Then, after Warner Brothers gave in, they officially released a leaked version of the Suicide Squad trailer. The world got a glimpse of Jared Leto’s rendition of the psychopathic Joker and fanboys’ jeans got a little tighter after witnessing Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.
But enough about what you already know.
These trailers present a few questions and concerns about the superhero genre that I’d like to address. Namely—has the genre reached its saturation point?
Are these films nothing more than products of a formula that studio execs created after 2012’s box-office juggernaut The Avengers?
Can Warner Bros. produce a film that doesn’t appear rushed and not thought out—since their obvious goal is to compete with Marvel‘s commercial success?
Most disturbingly, I’m reminded of 2013’s Man of Steel. Not the film, but the 7 or 8 YouTube trailers that preluded the film’s release. They were AMAZING. The film…not so much. RottenTomatoes confirms my point (56%).
Are we about to experience the same letdown(s) here? With WB taking the reverse approach to universe building Marvel Studios used, many suggest it’s too little, too late for DC Comics to produce anything original on the big screen.
I’m inclined to agree. I think the strategy of releasing several individual films that lead up to a team-up is the only way to go (The Avengers’ route). Since The Justice League is set for release prior to films like The Flash, Wonder Woman and Shazam, casual fans will be hard pressed to fork up the $15 to tune in.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll most likely be at a midnight screening on March 23rd. However, when the credits role and a confused gloom lingers over the crowd, I won’t be surprised. The fact is: DC‘s dark approach to storytelling doesn’t translate as well as the witty, somewhat campy vibe that Marvel brings to the table. Even Disney‘s been forced to accept that casual fans aren’t willing to pay for a screening of Ant-Man, a good but regrettably peripheral character in their source material. Coupled with Age of Ultron‘s lower-than-expected box-office turnout, comic book movies might be overstaying their welcome as tent-poles atop studio wish lists.
When both Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman score low on RottenTomatoes, feel free to give me your money instead.
(Submit equally witty and thought-provoking sign off here)